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TheRaider.net Research Attractions Super Live Adventure
 
George Lucas' Super Live Adventure
 

Attraction: Theatre Show
Location: Toured through several cities in Japan.
When: From late April till September 1993.

Information:
The Show
The Story
The Making of
 

The Show

The George Lucas’ Super Live Adventure was a theatrical feast for the senses produced by Feld Productions, owned by impresario Kenneth Feld. The production toured several cities in Japan from late April through September 1993.

Lucas’s associates first approached Feld in 1990 about creating a touring exhibit of Lucas artifacts and memorabilia. Feld expanded the idea to a full-blown theatrical production, replete with Lucasfilm’s characters, costumes, props, sets and plenty of action.

The show was as bold as Lucas’ blockbuster movies. Audiences were treated to a thrilling blend of live action, drama, dance, stunts, music, state–of-the-art lighting, sound systems and pyrotechnics, plus actual film footage interspersed throughout the show.

click to enlarge
"Theatre of Doom"

The physical aspects of the production were colossal. The stage was over one-quarter acre wide and the height of a five-story office building. The cast, crew and staff numbered 150, plus two Bengal tigers, two horses and four dogs. There were more than 400 costumes and 1.616 costume pieces. The sound system included 76 separate custom speakers arranged in 24 clusters suspended throughout the arena. Over 140 musicians recorded the original music score, including the 76-piece London Symphony Orchestra, a17-piece big band and an 18-piece rock and roll band. Lighting was controlled by four computer systems, and more than 1.000 laser beams were fired from 23 separate locations.

The production itself leaped in time from the mystical, medieval period (Willow) to a futuristic world (Star Wars), with several stops in between-the war-torn late 1930s (Indiana Jones), the post-war rise of the automotive industry (Tucker: The Man and his Dreams) and the rock and roll teenage days of the early 1960s (American Graffiti).

 
 

The Story

The show didn’t merely recreate scenes from Lucas’ films. It had a narrative life of its own through a young girl, who was seemingly chosen at random from the audience and propelled through a story that was inspired by the films and the characters in those films. It was her chore to discover the Force within herself. It was kind of a combination of The Wizard of Oz meets Star Wars and all of the Joseph Campbell myths.

click to enlarge
Exciting action!

The Super Live Adventure used Lucas’ film fantasy, Willow, as the first sequence in this quest. It was an action-oriented piece in which the young girl, a pseudo "Dorothy in Lucasland", is confronted by the fairy Cherlindrea, who gives her magic wand and three wishes. A lot of the action was focused around that wand. That’s the basic storyline, that she is being pursued because of the wand, which gives anybody who possesses it ultimate power.

Along the way, the young girl also encounters automotive visionary Preston Tucker, helps Indiana Jones defeat the evil Nazi Belloq and, with John Milner’s assistance, turns a gang of bullies into a miniature version of the Three Stooges in a takeoff of American Graffiti. In the finale, the young girl is pursued by Lucas’ ultimate evil character Darth Vader must rely on her own heroics to save herself and the audience from disaster.

 
 

The Making of

To bring this show to life the production had to cat 61 people true to Lucas’ pantheon of characters. Amazingly, the cast and crew spent only two months in rehearsal.

The fact that the production would tour arenas also increased the difficulty of getting it ready. Douglas Schmidt, the production designer, explained, "It would have been different if we had been going into a theater, where you have a certain compliment of equipment. But, here we were going into arenas where there was nothing, just a big empty space! We had to build not only the set for the show; we had to build the stage. So, it was like building a theater inside an arena, and then building a show inside the theater. It was really a Herculean task!"

click to enlarge
'Club Obi Wan' on stage.

Teamwork and talent were essential to ensuring that the production stayed on schedule and the final product was top quality. Feld and Scott Faris, the show’s director and supervising producer, chose a stellar group of individuals to accomplish these goals and make the unique concept of the show a reality. All of the creative team members had extensive backgrounds in theater and/or arena entertainment. Faris’ credentials include directing such popular and sizable productions as Les Miserables, Cats and Ain’t Misbehavin’. Schmidt had 30 years of experience and had designed more than 175 productions, working with renowned organizations like The New York Shakespeare Festival and The New York City and San Francisco Opera Companies.

B.H. Barry was the fight coordinator and found his role in the production very challenging. He had worked extensively on Broadway (Big River, City of Angels), in films (The Addams Family, Glory) and in television.

Other esteemed members of the creative team included: Robert Gannaway, writer, who had worked for Paramount and Walt Disney Feature Animation; Don Grady, musical director, who had an extensive background that included music for HBO/Warner Brothers, the Discovery Channel and Arts & Entertainment.; Frank Krenz, costume designer, whose film credits included Ghostbusters and Moonstruck; Marilyn Lowey, lighting designer, an Emmy-winner whose clients had included Bette Midler, Harry Connick Jr. And Neil Diamond; Jonathan Deans, sound designer, whose company had worked on over eighty musicals and plays; Davis Mendoza, illusion designer, who had worked with magician David Copperfield and megastar Michael Jackson.

Even though it toured in Japan, where Lucas’ work is loved widely, the Super Live Adventure wasn’t tailored to the Japanese audience except that the young girl who played the heroine was Japanese-American and the dialogue was dubbed in Japanese by the actors who regularly dub Lucas’ movies. Faris explains, "We wanted it to be something that would play anywhere." Unfortunately, Feld Productions were unable to find new financial backing to bring the show to the United States or anywhere else.

 
Sources

- Lucasfilm Fan Club Magazine #20 - article George Lucas’ Super Live Adventure: An Action-Packed Spectacle Tours Japan, by Pamela E. Roller

 

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